United States District Court, W.D. Washington
ORDER DENYING MOTION FOR LEAVE TO PROCEED IN FORMA
B. Leighton United States District Judge
MATTER is before the Court on Plaintiff Renner's Motion
for Leave to Proceed in forma pauperis, supported by her
proposed complaint. An earlier attempt was denied and
eventually dismissed [See Cause # 17-cv-5241RBL]
as now, Renner complains that she was wrongly arrested at
Heritage Park in Puyallup and sent to Good Samaritan Hospital
in August 2016. She complains that she was not doing
anything, but also concedes that she was involuntarily
committed for almost three weeks starting the day of her
arrest. In any event, her primary complaint is that the
responding officers failed to ask her six year old son where
he lived, when he lived right across the street from Heritage
Park. Instead he ended up with Child Protective Services. The
gist of her complaint appears to be that her son should have
been permitted to go home, though it is not clear whether
someone was there to take care of him in his mother's
absence. She also complains that the child was taken into
“dangerous electricity.” Renner also alleges
wrongful arrest and police misconduct in violation of the
district court may permit indigent litigants to proceed
in forma pauperis upon completion of a proper
affidavit of indigency. See 28 U.S.C. §
1915(a). The Court has broad discretion in resolving the
application, but “the privilege of proceeding in
forma pauperis in civil actions for damages should be
sparingly granted.” Weller v. Dickson, 314
F.2d 598, 600 (9th Cir. 1963), cert. denied 375 U.S.
845 (1963). Moreover, a court should “deny leave to
proceed in forma pauperis at the outset if it
appears from the face of the proposed complaint that the
action is frivolous or without merit.” Tripati v.
First Nat'l Bank & Trust, 821 F.2d 1368, 1369
(9th Cir. 1987) (citations omitted); see also 28
U.S.C. § 1915(e)(2)(B)(i). An in forma pauperis
complaint is frivolous if “it ha[s] no arguable
substance in law or fact.” Id. (citing
Rizzo v. Dawson, 778 F.2d 527, 529 (9th Cir. 1985);
see also Franklin v. Murphy, 745 F.2d 1221, 1228
(9th Cir. 1984).
pro se Plaintiff's complaint is to be construed
liberally, but like any other complaint it must nevertheless
contain factual assertions sufficient to support a facially
plausible claim for relief. Ashcroft v. Iqbal, 556
U.S. 662, 678, 129 S.Ct. 1937, 173 L.Ed.2d 868 (2009) (citing
Bell Atlantic Corp. v. Twombly, 550 U.S. 544, 570,
127 S.Ct. 1955, 167 L.Ed.2d 929 (2007)). A claim for relief
is facially plausible when “the plaintiff pleads
factual content that allows the court to draw the reasonable
inference that the defendant is liable for the misconduct
alleged.” Iqbal, 556 U.S. at 678.
the Court will permit pro se litigants an opportunity to
amend their complaint in order to state a plausible claim.
See United States v. Corinthian Colleges, 655 F.3d
984, 995 (9th Cir. 2011) (“Dismissal without leave to
amend is improper unless it is clear, upon de novo
review, that the complaint could not be saved by any
complaint does not meet this standard, especially not with
respect to the claims she seeks to assert on her son's
behalf. Although a non-attorney may appear in propria
persona in her own behalf, that privilege is personal to
her. McShane v. United States, 366 F.2d 286, 288
(9th Cir.1966). She has no authority to appear as an attorney
for others than herself. Russell v. United States,
308 F.2d 78, 79 (9th Cir.1962); Collins v.
O'Brien, 208 F.2d 44, 45 (D.C.Cir.1953), cert.
denied, 347 U.S. 944, 74 S.Ct. 640, 98 L.Ed. 1092
(1954). The real party in interest must be the person who
“by substantive law has the right to be
enforced.” See C.E. Pope Equity Trust v.
United States, 818 F.2d 696, 697 (9th Cir. 1987);
see also McShane v. United States, 366 F.2d 286, 288
(9th Cir.1966) (the privilege to represent oneself pro
se provided by section 1654 is personal to the litigant
and does not extend to other parties or entities). A
non-lawyer representative cannot litigate claims that are not
personal to her.
Renner cannot pursue claims on her child's behalf in this
or any Court.
she has not identified the officers who she claims
“wrongfully arrested” her and her claim that she
was not doing anything is belied by her admission that she
was involuntarily committed that day. She has still alleged
only violations of state law, and has not described the basis
for this Court's jurisdiction over the case or the
Motion for Leave to Proceed in forma pauperis is therefore
DENIED. Renner shall pay the filing fee or
submit a proposed amended complaint within 21
days, or the matter will be dismissed.
proposed amended complaint must assert claims on her own
behalf, only; if she intends to assert claims on the
child's behalf she must have an attorney do so. If he
intends to assert claims on her own behalf, she must identify
the basis for this court's jurisdiction over the case,
and identify the officers that she is suing, and the duty to
her that she claims they breached. The complaint does ...